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This Week’s ESSA News: And Then There Were 6: A Look at How — and Why — 6 States Have Yet to Get Their ESSA Plans Approved

The 74 Million – Blair Mann

“The U.S. Department of Education has approved 44 state ESSA plans (plus those from the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico) so far. Which states remain in federal approval limbo? What are the problem with these plans? What have these states done — if anything — to update their ESSA plans to help earn the federal nod? Below, we take a look at these and other questions regarding the six remaining states: California, Florida, Nebraska, North Carolina, Oklahoma, and Utah.” (more)

Federal, state visions for improving schools collide in California

Ed Source – John Fensterwald

“During a presentation earlier this month on how to choose the roughly 300 lowest-performing schools that must get intensive help under federal law, a number struck some members of the State Board of Education like a brick from the sky: 3,003. That’s the total number of schools in the state — not 300 but nine or 10 times that many — that staff estimate would require at least some form of help based on the school selection criteria that the board was considering.” (more)

OPINION: What does the fusion of academic and social development look like in kindergarten?

The Hechinger Report – Vincent J. Costanza

“When states across the nation recently turned in accountability plans required under the 2015 Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), they showed great variety in their plans for early learning. With much of the funding going directly to school districts, state and district partnerships will be crucial to ensuring that these plans address the real-life issues that school districts throughout the country are facing.”(more)

How Will America’s New Education Law Change Your School? 5 Experts Pick the Most Important Issue Parents Should Be Monitoring in States’ ESSA Plans

The 74 Million – Blair Mann

“Earlier this year, the Collaborative for Student Success and Bellwether Education Partners brought together more than 30 education experts — with state and national experience, Republicans and Democrats — to independently review the first 17 state ESSA plans submitted to the U.S. Department of Education.”(more)

This law could help states prioritize science education

E-School News – Laura Ascione

“States have a new opportunity to emphasize science education and achievement–once largely ignored during the NCLB era–under new federal policies. The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) gives states opportunities to create new educational goals and strategies, and states can set clear-cut goals for science achievement and leverage existing policies to meet those goals, according to a new brief from Achieve.”(more)

Exclusive: Florida Considering Major Revision to ESSA Plan and How State’s Schools Are Graded

The 74 Million – Lane Wright

“Less than two weeks before a federal deadline, the Florida Department of Education may scrap a plan to ask the government for a pass on a key part of its education law, potentially throwing the state’s school accountability plan under the Every Student Succeeds Act into chaos. States’ ESSA plans typically take months to develop and require public feedback to be successful. Florida did get feedback after releasing its original draft plan in June, but a significant course change this late in the game could produce a hastily prepared plan that doesn’t have buy-in from parents, teachers, and local school leaders.”(more)